Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles

Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles

Director: Zhang Yimou Cast: Ken Takakura, Kiichi Nakai, Shinobu Terashima

DVD (Wide Screen)


On the heels of such extravagant historical swordplay epics as Hero and House of Flying Daggers, Mainland Chinese director Zhang Yimou returns to the reins to tell this intimate tale of an aging father who attempts to remedy a longstanding rift with his grown son. Summoned to Tokyo by his daughter-in-law, Rie (Shinobu Terajima), village fisherman Gou-ichi Takata (Ken Takakura), arrives at a city hospital to find his son, Ken-ichi (Kiichi Nakai), bedridden by liver cancer. Though Gou-ichi attempts to use the visit as a catalyst to heal a decade-long dispute between the pair, stubborn Ken-ichi rejects his father's attempt at reconciliation outright. Subsequently handed a videotape by Rie before departing back to the countryside, Gou-ichi returns home unsuccessful in his efforts to build a bridge of peace between himself and his ailing son. Upon watching the videotape, a research project exploring the Chinese folk arts that was shot by Ken-ichi in the Southern province of Yunnan, Gou-ichi is oddly affected by the onscreen failure of his son in convincing well-known opera singer Li Jiamin (playing himself) to perform the titular song, a classic operatic piece espousing the values of friendship. Now determined to travel to Yunnan and videotape the performance that his son could not, Gou-ichi embarks on a life-changing quest that will not only give him a greater understanding of the relationship between himself and his own son, but set into motion a healing process that will also have a profound impact on the troubled opera singer and the man's long-lost illegitimate son as well.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/06/2007
UPC: 0043396165854
Original Release: 2005
Rating: PG
Source: Sony Pictures
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time: 1:49:00

Special Features

Making of featurette

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ken Takakura Gou-ichi Takata
Kiichi Nakai Ken-ichi Takata
Shinobu Terashima Rie Takata
Li Jiamin Li Jiamin
Qiu Lin "Lingo"
Jiang Wen Actor
Yang Zhenbo Yang-yang

Technical Credits
Zhang Yimou Director,Original Story
Wang Bin Original Story
Wang Bing Original Story
Xiu Jian Producer
Tao Jing Sound/Sound Designer
Zou Jinzhi Original Story,Screenwriter
Bill Kong Producer
Sun Li Production Designer
Cheng Long Editor
Zhang Weiping Producer
Guo Wenjing Score Composer
Zhao Xiaoding Cinematographer
Zhang Zhehan Associate Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles [WS]
1. Chapter 1 [:08]
2. Chapter 2 [4:37]
3. Chapter 3 [3:15]
4. Chapter 4 [3:19]
5. Chapter 5 [4:10]
6. Chapter 6 [3:00]
7. Chapter 7 [3:09]
8. Chapter 8 [3:09]
9. Chapter 9 [3:05]
10. Chapter 10 [6:11]
11. Chapter 11 [3:54]
12. Chapter 12 [4:41]
13. Chapter 13 [5:25]
14. Chapter 14 [3:46]
15. Chapter 15 [2:29]
16. Chapter 16 [5:06]
17. Chapter 17 [3:30]
18. Chapter 18 [2:53]
19. Chapter 19 [3:33]
20. Chapter 20 [3:39]
21. Chapter 21 [2:05]
22. Chapter 22 [3:51]
23. Chapter 23 [5:09]
24. Chapter 24 [1:40]
25. Chapter 25 [1:34]
26. Chapter 26 [3:08]
27. Chapter 27 [3:07]
28. Chapter 28 [4:14]

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Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Qian li zou dan qi' ('Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles') is a little miracle of a film by the gifted Chinese director Yimou Zhang, an artist highly respected for his films of passion and martial arts captured in richly symbolic fashion and spectacular color. But in this film the director joins in writing a story with Jingzhi Zou that is as intimate as his other films are operatic. It is a simple, touching story told in manner that maintains Zhang's visual artistry yet goes so far beyond the glorious color to probe universal questions. Gou-ichi Takata (Ken Takakura) lives by himself in a fishing village since the death of his wife. Apparently he was so devastated by her passing that he left his son Ken-ichi to grow up by himself, an act that Ken-ichi has never forgiven: the two men have had no contact in many years. Takata receives a telephone call from his daughter-in-law Rie (Shinobu Terajima) informing him that Ken-ichi is hospitalized with a grave illness and pleads with Takata to come visit his estranged son. Takata complies, but on arrival at the hospital his son refuses to see him. Rie shares a videotape Ken-ichi made about his obsession with Chinese folk opera, and when Takata plays the tape he sees that his son's burning desire to tape a performance by Chinese singer Li Jiamin (who plays himself) singing the greatest of his roles - an opera names 'Riding Alone for a Thousand Miles' - was thwarted by the singer's illness at the time, Takata decides to reconcile his paternal distance and travel to Yunnan Province of China to complete his son's tape and vision. Upon arrival in China Takata discovers that the singer is in jail and he obtains the translator services of Lingo (Lin Qiu) and Jasmine (Jiang Wen) who ultimately help him to overcome the endless red tape to gain an audience with the singer in his jail. Though Li wants to sing his famous role of Takata to film for his son, Li requests that first he be able to see his illegitimate son Yang Yang (Zhenbo Yang) who has been adopted by a little village called Stone Flower. Takata, with the aid of his translators, visits Stone Flower and the people there greet Takata with warmth and give their consent to allow Yang Yang to accompany Takata to see the father he has never met. But on the road out of China Yang Yang strays and Takata and Yang Yang spend a night in the frightening depths of a canyon: they bond with complex shared needs until they are rescued the next morning. Though Yang Yang has developed a love for Takata he doesn't want to leave his village and Takata departs back to the prison alone to tell Li. At the prison Takata shares with Li and his fellow inmates photographs of Yang Yang: everyone is so moved that Li performs the opera for Takata's son on videotape as a gesture of love. Takata has accomplished his mission of reconciliation with his own son, but Rie calls him to inform him that Ken-ichi has died but left a letter addressed to Takata that explains how deeply moved the son is that his father would make the journey to China, riding alone for thousands of miles out of love. The gesture is enough for Ken-ichi. Zhang tells his story in both Mandarin and Japanese and the translations reflect the differences on the two countries but also represent bridges between the ancient and the modern, between cold interior calloused heart and the warmth of love. The filming and accompanying musical score are as always in Zhang's films beautiful beyond description. This is a film to cherish, one that is so understated in its approach to father-son relationships that it will touch chords of recognition in every viewer. Highly recommended. Grady Harp
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